Ruling On Initiatives 75 and 78 Is Not The Final Say

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Tricia Olson, media@yesforhealthandsafety.org; 575-616-2577

Suzanne Spiegel, suzanne@frackfreecolorado.com; 914-563-6080

Micah Parkin, micah@350colorado.org; 504-258-1247

350 Colorado

Ruling On Initiatives 75 and 78 Is Not The Final Say

DENVER, Co. - Today, "Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking" was informed that not enough signatures were validated by the Secretary of State's office to place Initiatives 75 & 78 on the November ballot. At this time, Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking is reviewing the ruling and the disallowed signatures to determine whether to file a challenge. By the Secretary of State's numbers, Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking achieved one of the highest validation rates of any submitted ballot this year.

"As we review the ruling, we want to assure our volunteers and supporters that we are as committed as ever to giving the residents of Colorado a say this November on whether their communities can regulate fracking," says Tricia Olson, Executive Director of Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking. "That fracking is dangerous to the health and safety of the state's residents resonated loudly in every corner of the state. Today's announcement is not the final action on this issue as countless residents are now committed to protecting their children's schools, parks, and homes."

Yes to Health and Safety Over Fracking faced an unprecedented $15 million anti-signature campaign funded by the oil and gas industry. The Decline to Sign campaign was highlighted by intimidation tactics to scare voters from signing petitions and punctuated by a disinformation effort that saw radio and television ads designed to confuse voters about the Initiatives.

In addition, recent polling conducted by Ciruli Associates for the CO Water Conservation Board indicated that Coloradans support Initiative 78 by a wide margin, with 57% in favor, 30% against, and 13% undecided.

"We will not be cowed by the anti-democratic efforts of the oil and gas industry," said Suzanne Spiegel of Frack Free Colorado. Spiegel continued, "The 'Decline to Sign' campaign only served to highlight the industry's stranglehold on the state government. The actions of the industry have only served to galvanize supporters and we intend to fight the destructive and dangerous fracking practices that harm our health and destroy our environment."

"This is only the beginning, we will continue to fight to ensure that our communities, health, and planet are put first, said Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director of Colorado People's Alliance. "We will not let the oil and gas industry stop us from fighting for what is right - our message today is clear, fracking can't be regulated and we will stop it in Colorado in order to protect our communities and workers."

"A parent's job is to protect their children," said Maria Orms of Adams County. "If the state is willing to allow fracking facilities into our neighborhoods where not just the quality of life is affected but also the health and safety of our families are put at risk, we will not rest until this stops.  We are the beginning of a movement, not the end and everyday we meet more people that are joining us and willing to work tirelessly to protect our neighborhoods and the children. The regulation of 500 feet from homes is not adequate and nothing can make that safe for children.  No amount of money or harassment will make it acceptable."

"We won't stop fighting for the people of Colorado, said Micah Parkin with 350 Colorado. "Fracking is a short-term 'boom' for the fossil fuel industry that will leave us with poisoned communities, decreased property values, and a more severe climate crisis, and polling shows that the people of Colorado don't want it by their homes and schools."

About the Initiatives

Initiative #75, "Local Governmental Control of Oil and Gas Development," recognizes that oil and gas development should be subject to local jurisdiction like every other industry. The measure would give local governments a wide range of options to protect their communities and neighborhoods from the harms associated with oil and gas development, including fracking.

Initiative #78, "Mandatory Setbacks from Oil and Gas Development," establishes a buffer zone of 2,500' (less than ½ mile) between new oil and gas development and homes, hospitals, schools and sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources. A 2500' setback takes its basis from health studies showing elevated health risk to human health within ½ mile of "fracked" wells. It also takes into account the perimeters needed for explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.

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